6 People You Should Never Use as a Reference

Sometimes, it’s hard to figure out who to list as a reference. Ultimately, you need to select people who can speak to your professional abilities in a positive manner, as the information they provide the hiring manager is a crucial part of their decision-making process.

That means, there are certain people you should never include on that list. With that in mind, here are six people you should forgo listing as a reference.

1. Anyone Who Fired You While it seems obvious, it’s still worth saying: anyone who fired you should never be used as a reference.

Generally, a manager who terminated your employment won’t have positive things to say about you in the workplace and may be inclined to be honest with the prospective employer about their experience. Even if the reason you were fired wasn’t related to an infraction or issue, such as when it just isn’t a […]

Doing Good for the World and Your Resume: How Volunteering Can Help You Get IT Experience

When you want to land a coveted IT role, having formal training or the latest certification might not be enough to get you the job. Most employers prefer professionals with real-world experience, so being able to use your skills in a work-style environment is a must if you want to be a top candidate.

However, you need to secure a position to gain that experience, creating a sort of catch-22. Luckily, there is a way get started that isn’t as complicated as landing a job: volunteering.

Landing a Volunteer IT Role Many non-profit organizations need assistance with technology, though they can’t always afford to hire a highly skilled professional. Often, they turn to volunteers to help get websites built, local networks set up, and much more, creating unique opportunities where you can gain experience while assisting your community.

You can look for opportunities through formal volunteer matching organizations and […]

Does the Slipper Fit? 9 Ways to Tell if a Company is the Right Fit for You

Before you accept a job offer, making sure it is actually a good fit is critical. Otherwise, you may end up unhappy with your choice, leading you to need a new role faster than you originally intended.

If you want to make sure that a company is the right fit for you, here are nine questions to ask yourself before you accept a job offer.

Can I Be Successful in This Role? The point of this question is to consider whether you have the proper skill set and level of experience to excel in the job. While this doesn’t mean you can’t learn a bit as you go, making sure that you have all of the critical core competencies increases your odds of long-term success.

Does the Job Fit into My Life? While you may have career goals that a role can help you achieve, it’s also wise to […]

The Only Sentence You Need to Negotiate Your Salary

Interviewing is stressful enough. But, if you prove to the interviewer that you are the ideally fit candidate, then you’ll make it that next stage: the job offer.

To some, negotiating a job offer is actually worse than the interview. To others, they love the chase and the negotiating game. Whatever side you are on, there is only one sentence you need to know to quickly negotiate your salary.

Recruiters, like the professionals at ASK Staffing share their negotiating tips with their candidates. This is one of the many reasons, you should seek out professional recruiters when you start thinking it’s time for a job change.

With negotiating, it all comes down to one, politely delivered sentence.

These 12 magical words can get you a higher salary, increased paid time off, and whatever else that’s in reason on your wish list: “If you can get me X (and Y, […]

Transferable Skills That Will Make Your Tech Resume Stand Out

The technical requirements of an IT professional are always evolving. To advance your career, it’s the transferable, soft skills that will get your resume noticed or get you promoted. Communication skills, innovation, and business acumen are the skills that will separate you from the other IT applicants, as well as the new IT replacement of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic replacement.

Enhancing your Communication and Empathy Skills Enhancing your soft skills is a lifelong pursuit. Practice by listening to others and then asking questions to ensure you understand the meaning, intent and emotion of what is being said. Work to understand your entire business, not just the function of the IT department. And above all else, express empathy. People want to be surrounded by people they like and that understand them.

Be an Innovator and Problem Solver Highlighting ways that you have creatively approached a problem demonstrates that you […]

7 Signs It’s Time To Quit Your IT Job

If you are thinking that it’s time to quit your information technology (IT) job, well, most likely it is. But, before you polish up your resume and call a recruiter, review these 7 signs that it truly is time to quit your job.

You lost your motivation Lack of motivation happens from being overworked, underworked, not challenged or too challenged. When was the last time you were proud of your work? If it’s more than a few months, it’s time to move on. You Don’t See a Future Where do you see yourself 2 years from now? If you’re not picturing your current employer, move on. You’re Not Learning In the profession of information technology, you need to continual learning and through new projects, technology and systems. If you’re doing the same thing every day, you need to move on. It’s a Negative Environment If you dread going to […]

3 Skills of the Most Successful Network Engineers

What makes a network engineer successful and of the successful network engineers, what are three skills of the MOST successful ones? There are a few common traits that consistently make the difference between a good and great network professional.

Communication is Key It’s the soft skills that make or break a successful network engineer. The stereotypical IT guy, that is a nonverbal, or worse, sarcastic and condescending quickly gets a bad reputation within an organization.

On the other hand, the friendly and positive IT network professional that is happy to help and can explain technical concepts in plain, digestible language is an asset to the organization.

Continual Education Technology is an industry that you must continually learn and develop your skills, certifications and experiences. A desirable network engineer will have several vendor specific certifications, with Cisco CCNA being the most sought after as well as the most common.

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Why You Should Brush Up on Your C Programming Skills to Find a New Job

It’s that time. Time to move on in your technology career. As a first step, start by evaluating your programming languages and determine where you have a skill gap.

If you thought C programming language was dead, think again. C programming is the go-to language for most developers and still ranks highly on the programming-language indexes of RedMonk and TIOBE.

Evolution of C C language is one of the original programming languages, right up there with Assembly and FORTRAN. The difference is, 46 years later C is still going strong. The reason: Evolution. C is always releasing updated versions to keep pace with new functions.

Why C? By brushing up on your C skills you will be able to read and write code for a large number of platforms, including microcontrollers, advanced systems and operating systems.

C or C++ C++ is an extension of C.  It is quite difficult […]

Data Scientist or Data Engineer: Which is Right For Your Career?

Looking for an in-demand career path?

Big Data positions are in high demand. In particular, two high-paying positions that enterprise and research institutions are seeking are data scientists and data engineers.

Let’s compare the key differences in the roles and responsibilities of a data scientist and a data engineer to help you decide which one is right for your career.

Big Data is defined by Merriam-Webster as, “an accumulation of data that is too large and complex for processing by traditional database management tools.”

With data sets this large, new roles have emerged to manage, query, interpret and visualize the data. Additionally, the data then needs to be turned into actionable insights to help business and organizations. The roles of data scientist and data engineer are found in large, enterprise corporations and organizations, as well as research and governmental institutions. Both positions have enormous growth potential and have been […]

The Right Way to Address Employment Gaps on Your Tech Resume

Gaps in employment can happen to many professionals. Whether the reason is of a personal nature, (maternity or paternity leave or caring for a family member), or is a more professional matter (being laid off or heading back to the classroom), it is essential that a tech professional address these gaps on their resume. So, what are the most common employment gaps that professionals experience and how does a job seeker address these gaps on their tech resume? 

Employment Gap # 1: Going Back to School Full-time  Returning to school full-time after being employed can create a gap in employment. If you are a professional returning to the workforce after being a full-time student, there are several ways to present this gap on your resume. For example, not only should you list the type of degree you earned, but you should also put your educational experience under your professional […]

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